Today, with the Day 2 of the International Babywearing Day, the theme is Babywearing has kept us close. And what better way to celebrate it with a community who is striving hard to get babies, parents and caregivers close, by spreading Babywearing love.
The babywearing scene has taken a dramatic turn in last few years. More and more parents across the globe are now aware of the benefits of babywearing apart from just hands-free convenience. While babybcarrier manufacturers do release ads and information regularly, communities and educators also play an important role in spreading awareness on babywearing and the joyous babywearing journey for babies and parents alike.
We got in conversation with India’s first Babywearing community which has worked hard towards reintroducing babywearing to people across the country.
Read on to know more about this wonderful community.
A brief about Babywearing India…
Babywearing India is an online Facebook support group that was started in 2014 by Adhunika Prakash and Lalitha Acharya to introduce babywearing and its benefits to new parents and caregivers. The group has grown tremendously throughout these years and currently we are 17k+ members strong. Babywearing India is an online community and all activities are currently online only.
Inspiration behind starting the community…
The group was started with the motto of reintroducing babywearing to the modern society and help parents and caregivers enjoy the benefits of babywearing. In India, there are a few cultures in which parents/caregivers babywear on a day to day basis, but the majority of the population is not aware of the benefits of babywearing. Through social media, we are trying to reach out to as many families as possible so they can pay attention to the baby while taking care of themselves/their needs and all of while being hands free. Essentially, babywearing enables them to continue with their lives and not let baby-rearing be an impediment to the rhythm of everyday life.
Evolution of Babywearing in India – Then vs. Now…
The babywearing scene in India has transformed quite a bit over the years. In 2014, only a handful of people were aware about babywearing. Not only that, comfortable and ergonomic carriers were mostly international brands that were not available easily, and when they were, they costed a fortune and were not tailored to the Indian weather conditions. Now in 2018, quite a few Indian brands have established themselves in the market offering carriers at multiple price points .
Also, at that point of time, there were no libraries available to try baby carriers, and the only way to know if a carrier would suit you or not was to buy them and (potentially) burn your fingers. Now, most of the metro cities have at least one babywearing library with lots of options to try, and more and more smaller cities are getting added to this list. The awareness about babywearing has increased now compared to the past few years and we are glad to be part of this.
There was a time when we had to buy carriers that met the ASTM/EU standards from outside India and now there are brands in India who make ASTM tested carriers and have retailers around the world. This is a huge success to the overall community and we are very happy to see this change. All said and done, there is a lot more work that needs to be done so that we can reach out to more parents through the community members.
As a community, we feel the awareness about babywearing is increasing but the main challenge is the perception about babywearing being harmful for the child. There are a number of resources working towards breaking this myth – social media, babywearing educators and libraries who meet parents regularly by way of a personal consult or by organizing monthly meetings. A change is happening, one baby at a time.
All the activities are over the social media. We have an admin team that volunteer and work on the group with their busy schedules. They answer queries and help parents with all things related to babywearing. We have a Facebook group, Facebook page and Instagram page. Also, there are independent babywearing educators who are like the foot soldiers doing the last mile handholding for parents in various parts of the country.
Message to the key players in Babywearing (parents, Babywearing facilitators, manufacturers)…
We think babywearing is more affordable now and facilitators help a lot to take babywearing one step closer to the parents and caregivers. What we realize now is the need for everyone to come together as a team and take babywearing to a much wider audience.
(All pictures in this article are original and belong to Babywearing India. Reproducing them in any form without the permission of the community will not be allowed.)
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